I know research tells me that being outside in the fresh air and sunshine is great for my health, but when I went hiking with my family at Redbud Nature Preserve in Catoosa, I was not prepared for the onslaught of bugs, specifically cicadas. They were everywhere! There were cicadas on almost every tree, on the ground (including a lot of dead ones) and buzzing around our heads. The mud was also so deep that our shoes kept getting stuck in the mud. Further along on the trail, the bugs decreased and we really did enjoy ourselves. The birds were singing their springtime songs and a large variety of wildflowers were in bloom. We “speed hiked” through the trails since the cicadas and the mosquitoes were thick in some areas, and my daughter was not happy with things landing in her hair! It really was great exercise, and it I hope we can do it again soon (minus the bugs).
A bit about the cicadas, according to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife: “Oklahoma is home to at least 12 species of cicadas. Each year they emerge from their underground hideouts, shed their skins, fly to the treetops, mate and then die. Different species have different life cycles. Most cicadas live underground for two to eight years, but Oklahoma is also home to a cicada that biologists call Brood IV, a species that has an impressive 17-year life cycle. Many researchers believe this gap between emergences keeps predators from growing accustomed to the plentiful food source that cicadas offer. North America is home to approximately 100 species of the 1,500 known in the world.”